What happens when two leaders in their respective fields team up? You build new relationships and learn from different ideas and perspectives. On October 4th, Equitas welcomed a dynamic team of employees from Deloitte as part of their national Impact Day commitment to give back to the community. It was an exciting day and the first opportunity for two global leaders to team up. The event also fit nicely with Equitas’ ongoing efforts to develop partnerships with corporations who share common values. Fifteen members of the Deloitte team arrived punctually at 9:15 a.m. eager to learn about Equitas and ready to spend the day applying their collective experience (in human resources, tax, risk management, IT, etc.) to the challenge of making Equitas better known, particularly in the corporate community. While similar teams fanned out across Montreal and the country, these 15 had chosen Equitas because they felt a connection to our human rights education mission. We spent the morning sharing information about our activities and the impact of the work. A moving and emotional testimonial from Flora Terah who attended our International Human Rights Training Program in 2010 brought home to everyone why human rights education is so important. She told the group that if she had been trained in human rights earlier, she might have been able to prevent some of the terrible abuse and loss she suffered as a candidate in the Kenyan elections of 2007. After lunch, it was time to put the Deloitte team to work and they broke up into groups to brainstorm some key questions:
- What would be the key elements of an effective “elevator speech” for Equitas?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of Equitas’ marketing to date?
- What messages and what approaches could help Equitas have more success with the corporate community?
After over an hour of animated discussion, the groups came back to report. Their perspectives as outsiders and from the business community challenged the Equitas team to take a different look at our priorities and brought new and exciting ideas to the table. There was a strong emphasis on building our online presence and some great suggestions on how to grow our networks, recruit volunteer ambassadors and enhance our recognition strategies. Each of the groups also identified opportunities to engage the business community by offering our services as expert trainers on human rights in general or issues of diversity. The day ended with a traditional exchange of cards and contact information, but the impact will live on. The recommendations coming out of the day will feed into Equitas’ ongoing efforts to strengthen its marketing efforts and build bridges with the corporate community and, just as importantly, the day built relationships and started conversations that can lead to even more exciting collaboration in the future. Thank you Zara! Thank you Flora! And thank you to Deloitte and the team who visited us! To learn more about opportunities for corporations to partner with Equitas, contact Ian Hamilton at: firstname.lastname@example.org.